CENTERTON, Ark. — Playoff football: high stakes, low temperatures.
“We always say a team to remember plays in late November/early December,” said Bryan Pratt, Bentonville West's head football coach. “You better get used to this, that cold weather is just part of it.”
The cold weather was not enough to stop Jake Casey on Friday night.
Casey tossed four touchdown passes in Bentonville West’s 42-20 first-round win over Jonesboro in the 7A playoffs.
“This was definitely one of my best games, throwing for four touchdowns, and it really helps the team,” Casey said. “I was just doing what I can to help the team.”
The win marked the Wolverines' first playoff victory since 2019.
“It’s so much fun,” Casey said. “It’s great just getting that dub in a playoff game. It’s a great feeling.”
In that game, Casey had three separate touchdown passes of at least 50 yards, showing off his big arm and ability to push the ball downfield.
“Sometimes in our scramble drill he makes big plays,” Pratt said. “That’s what’s happened the last couple weeks, that big plays just seem to follow us.”
Casey is no stranger to high school ball.
The 6-foot-4 junior was on varsity as a freshman and has started since he was a sophomore.
This season, the class of 2024 quarterback has 25 touchdowns to go with over 2,500 passing yards in 10 games played.
Considering the experience and the position he plays, Casey is looked to as a leader of the team.
“They look at me as a calm leader, like when stuff goes bad I don’t really get to up or too down,” Casey said.
It’s a mentality that the head coach sees from his quarterback every day at practice.
“He doesn’t come out depending on what mood he is,” Pratt said. “He comes out to try to get better every day and I think that’s the one thing I like about him more than anything.”
And as the Wolverines look to continue their run in the postseason, they’re happy to have a guy like Casey as their signal caller.
“He kind of represents what we want at Bentonville West—someone who is going to take care of the work in the school, but he’s also going to be a terror on the football field,” Pratt said. “Right now he’s playing really well. He has confidence and our guys have confidence in him.”
The Wolverines will visit Cabot on Friday for their second-round matchup.